Banned from travelling abroad!

Hi everybody

I am just wondering if this has happened to anybody else.

I have moderate copd (diagnosed February) and was unfortunate enough to have an exacerbation, due to a cold, just before we were due to fly to Greece for our holiday. My GP told me I could not fly, so we had to cancel our trip. At that time, the GP advised me I should stay in this country until a year after I had given up smoking ... OK.

I presumed that he meant that I shouldn't fly for a year after giving up smoking - so we have arranged a driving holiday in France next year.

This morning I had to see the GP about another matter and I told him that I had been nervous in the waiting room, in case anybody had a cold (had to wait over an hour) and he said, quite nastily, that they probably were thinking what an awful smell, because I'm a smoker! Then he asked if I'd given up - and I said, no, that I was waiting until I was totally ready, or (after 50 years of smoking) I was bound to fail. He said that he hoped I hadn't gone booking any holidays abroad - so I told him that, yes, we were going to France next year. Not flying. He flew off the handle, saying that he had told me not to go abroad - and that he had it written in his notes. He could not sign another travel insurance form, in the event of another claim, as he had advised me not to travel.

So where do I stand here? I cannot even take out travel insurance, because they always ask if you've been advised not to travel. But why have I been advised not to travel? Because I have copd? Because I have a chance of an infection? Because I smoke? What if I never give up smoking? Does that mean I can never go abroad again? This is all so depressing, especially as I realise that many folk with copd, even those on oxygen, go on holiday, with the blessing and assistance of their GPs.

So, I cannot take out insurance. But I am loathe to give up yet another family holiday, 'in case' I get an infection? (I would've gone on holiday this year, if I hadn't had to fly!) I think we could probably manage with the EHIC cards (they do cover for pre-existing conditions), but, even with those, perhaps they won't refund any fees if a doctor has advised you not to travel? I feel as though I'm being blackmailed into giving up smoking. Of course, it's the right thing to do - but this disease is not going to diseappear even if I didn't smoke - so the risk of infection will remain for the rest of my life. This condition is depressing enough, without feeling like a prisoner with shackles on your ankles.

I just don't know what to do. :(

66 Replies

  • Check with the COPD nurse, if you have one. Mine is excellent and gives better advice than a doctor. I cant remember but if your oxygen level is about 96% you should be ok to fly / drive. as for the insurance I just take a chance, been unscathed so far, or try Saga Insurance.

  • Thanks, Muckster

    I do have a COPD nurse, but I thought we could only see her for yearly checks. I'll see if I can get an appointment with her.

    If I don't have an exacerbation, I am quite well. I get puffed on hills, but am generally not out of breath on the flat and can walk a fair distance at a decent speed. My O2 is generally 96-98% - even after exercise it might fall to 93, but quickly climbs again. I am not on oxygen. And before diagnosis in February (I must have had this disease for at least 10 years), I have flown thousands of miles - as far away as Hawaii - without problem. We don't even plan to fly next year - just take the chunnel and my husband does the driving!

    I'm happy to pay for insurance, even with the same company who I was insured with this year - even though I had to claim and the premium will probably go up heaps. But you can't take out insurance if you've been advised not to travel! So, yep, I'm probably going to take the chance.

  • may i just ask, i flew once and that was my last. why can you fly if you have copd?

  • Hi Wraygirl, like I said to Frankie, check with your COPD nurse. Doctors are scaremongers, you cant do this, you cant do that. A nurse will look at your history, and give you an honest opinion. I keep myself reasonable fit, exercising everyday on my exercise bike, take my meds, get my flu jab as told, but if my Sats drop below 96% she wont let me do anything.

    A lot will depend on your history, if you have the odd bout of illness, you could be ok. If you have regular infections, then she will err on the side of caution, and rule out flying.

    But check with your nurse, airlines also provide portable oxygen bottles (at a cost), also there is insurance, most companies run scared when you mention COPD, but there are companies who will insure you.

    I don't know if that helps - but check first!!


  • Hi I think change your GP and see how you go with the new one. Good luckxx

  • Just quit. Use the cash saved for your health in France - should you need any help there. Im sure youll be fine though. French pharmacists are very helpful. Go armed with everything you can to fight infections (smoking inhibits the uptake of vitamins & minerals from food). Vits C&D, Zinc, echinacea, your rescue pack of antibiotics if you have one.

    I wouldn't be worrying about an infection - I'd be worrying about being hospitalised with a collapsed lung or pulmonary embolism. That would prove expensive.

    I'm not against people smoking, it's a freedom to choose. You smoke away. If you choose to quit you'll have loads of support here though.

    Personally I do choose not to go anywhere near smokers, though but the other day a man entered the Tube carriage really reeking of smoke having just got out of his car. I was choking, had to move. He ended up with half the carriage to himself because everyone moved away and most of us stood for the half hour journey to Baker Street.

    Your GP didn't have much choice about where he could sit did he.

  • Thanks peeg

    I can't stand being around smokers either (honest!) - and always book non-smoking hotel rooms! Worse, though, to me, are strong perfumes - especially in a lift. Then I choke!

    I have every intention of trying to give up smoking (if not for my health, we need the money!) - but it has to be in my own time and when I am ready - or it simply won't work - it's no use being told to give up smoking. My father does it all the time - and that only serves to make me want to smoke more!

    I have not, in the past, had any success with nicotine replacement therapy. I take a nicotine inhaler on long haul flights with me - and it always gives me indigestion. But I have bought a nicotine-replacement throat spray and an e-cigarette with zero nicotine. This is my plan of action! But I have spent the last 3 weeks with a vicious sore throat, caused by the thrush caused by the last lot of antibiotics! So it would not have been sensible to start spraying my throat with these substances.

    I used to smoke 40 a day - now I smoke 12-15 - and if I can get lower than that, then I shall be satisfied for a while. I'm going to take it slowly - I don't want to risk the worsening of my sob that others have reported.

  • wow, that's something to get down to 12-15. I'm trying to give up swearing (I know it's nothing like the same, but it's still a disgusing habit of mine, especially at the moment when I'm very stressed).

    I'm trying to do self hypnosis on myself, sort of mind over matter.

    Also, I have an awful habit of being a procrastinator. I'm supposed to be packing to move in 2 weeks and I've achieved little today. Too easily distracted.

    Good luck with the smoking - or should I say not smoking! Have you discussed Champix with your doc (maybe change your GP)?

    I think I would slit my wrists if I couldn't travel. Dog's had his rabies shot updated and soon we'll be ready to roll on & off that Channel Tunnel :)


  • I swear something awful when I'm on my own. When with others, I make a disgusted face when they do it!

    It was just over 10 years ago I cut down. Ironically, it was after I'd seen my current copd nurse at a well woman's clinic. She'd suggested I cut down before my health made me ("when do you have time to smoke all those?"). I was worried about emphysema, so I cut right down overnight (threw out all the ashtrays in the house and banished smoking to strictly outdoors, much to my husband's initial disgust!) Now look at me!

    Enjoy the Chunnel trip! I wish we could take our cat with us when we go!

  • Hi there, I used to smoke 30 - 40 a day untill I collapsed, result being diagnosed with COPD that was nearly 3 years ago, I haven't smoked a cigarette since, i bought an E-cig vapour type that you fill yourself and use it all the time now, ok its not giving up totally as it still has the nicotine hit you crave but none of the other toxins, believe me it has been fantastic and I havent been in hospital since, my gp asked if I smoke, I just say I use an e-cig and he says, fine, so honestly try it I get mine from VIP, GOOD LUCK.

  • No one can tell you when to stop smoking - you will do it in your own time - it took me a year from emergency admittance to hospital March 2013 to March 2014 (the exact day) before I finally gave up and then I only did it with the aid of e cigs which have been a godsend to me and which I still use - so worth a try - I could never go back to cigarettes now - thank goodness - I do think, however, that it is very wrong of your current Doctor to attempt to bully or penalize you into giving up and counter productive - so maybe as suggested a more sympathetic Doctor is needed - whatever Good luck and best wishes xxx

  • Yay, undine - well done for finally quitting! I hope you are feeling better for it? I agree with you - the bullying tactics are counter-productive. I know that in the last couple of days, I've smoked more ...

    The e-cig, waiting for me in the drawer, is a lovely shade of royal blue - Everton colours! It's almost time to take it out and give it a go - but it has no nicotine - I was put off by e-cigs previously, cos the strength of nicotine put me on a high for days!

  • Hi Frankie, thanks for your reply - I use 2 flavours now Apple and Menthol at a high nicotine strength - will reduce sometime but at the moment need the hit - took awhile and a bit if money to find one's I liked but even then less money than spent on cigs and must have saved a fortune - I also keep spare batteries and atomisers so never run out - do not want to be tempted back to tobacco. I buy over the internet from who seem to be very good value for eliquid etc and have been very reliable for sales and delivery etc. Anyway when you are ready - in your own time - good luck xx

  • sorry meant to say I use the e-Go CE4 type refillable - good idea to at least have a spare battery as you have to recharge them quite often depending on use xx

  • Thanks, jenss

    This GP is a better one than the one I had before - lol (same practise).

  • I have traveled for years with c o p d always got my insurensewith g p o never had a problem I smoked for over50 years and just stopped but don't how or why good look

  • Well done on the smoking, lily! Yep, I intend to continue to travel as long as possible too! And, yes, I too will give up smoking ...

  • I would consider changing GP. Then I'd get some insurance and go and have a bloomin' great holiday!!! Bon Voyage Frankie!!! Some doctors are just rubbish! huff xxx

  • LOL, hufferpuffer! I was absolutely fuming when I wrote my first message. Now I feel better, after my rant! Thank goodness for this forum and all you lovely people! We've booked a villa in the south of france - works out cheaper than hotels! But the petrol for the drive down and back up is the expensive bit - it probably would be cheaper to fly - if I was allowed to, that is! :)

  • Where are you going? I shall await pics as I want to rent there for the winter. I go to Cassis, east of Marseille.

  • Oh yeah, we went to Cassis a few years ago - I even managed to climb up those steps to the Marseille cathedral (?) up on the hill. Fabulous view. Went on a boat trip to the Calanques (sp?) too. Lovely.

    We're going to a small village just north of Frejus - Lorgues, I think.

  • oh wow, so pleased you know it, not many do because it's so small. My son & his partner live just back from the little harbour up a hill and they have wonderful views of the blue sea & sky plus the huge yellow cliff Cap de Canielle (sp?). And you've seen the Calanques too.

    Lorgues is lovely and Frejus is too, very bustling in the beach area.

    I've been to Marseille loads and never been up to that Cathederal! The steps up to the station were enough!!

    Have a lovely time when you go.P

  • Peeg, do try to get up to the Cathedral! The steps look steep, but they're 'long' steps, if that makes sense. And you can take your time and admire the fabulous views. At the top of the steps, there is a glass room sized 'box', filled with crutches. Apparently, these have been abandoned by those cured (whether by the struggle to get up there or divine intervention). We are not religious at all, but, at the time, my hub had a bad back and swears that it was cured! At least, he didn't complain about it from then on!

  • Rather than leave an excellent doctor who is giving you the best possible advice, it's time to man up and ditch the fags. If, like me, you wait to give up when you want, it will be when your body is screaming at you to stop. Believe me from personal experience this is too late and your life will be irrevocably ruined. Do it now while the condition is manageable and live a longer , more active life. It really is a no brainer, but you have to face this head on, and stop making excuses.

    Good Luck.

  • Warwickstag! What are you doing in my head? You sound exactly like my conscience!

    Seriously (cue another excuse) - my biggest worry is anxiety. At one time, I was housebound with agoraphobia. I never want to in that place again. So I worry that packing up will put me there. But I'll never know unless I give it a go.

  • Sorry mate but in my experience there's always an excuse, a reason not to do something, but believe me, there's not one COPD sufferer, who having started smoking, doesn't wish they had packed up the fags sooner rather than later, and if eventually like me you need oxygen to survive, you won't get it if you're still puffing away. I hope you're able to see the obvious soon, whist it's still not too late.

    Best wishes my friend.

  • No need to apologise - what you say is absolutely true.

  • But that is not the issue here warwickstag. Frankie knows she needs to give up the fags but a doctor blackmailing her to do that is very wrong. That is the issue. x

  • That's what it boils down to, coughalot! I really didn't want to get into this smoking stuff - as you say, I know I need to give up! I was far more concerned with being denied a trip abroad, like it's a punishment!

  • I totally agree Cough,this poor exuse for a doctor needs retraining,if not just sacked!To deny somebody a holiday through blackmail is criminal.I would be making a serious complaint to the practise manager and taking it further if not apologised to!I feel I must be lucky I have not had idiot doctors to deal with.Good luck with giving up the nasty weed Frankie.

  • Hi FarmerD - I agree with you! I am going to give him one last chance to change his ways - lol! But who needs all this stress?

  • warwickstag talks a lot of sense. I am a non smoker with bronchiectasis and I understand that I haven't been through the difficulties of giving up so it will be easy to say I don't understand.

    But I understand this - my dad and older siblings smoked around me when I was growing up but they knew nothing then of the damage they were doing to me, or themselves. I lived and worked around smokers all my working life until it was banned. I am on oxygen 24/7.

    Every one of my family were strong healthy youngsters. Every one of them had heart/copd problems in middle age. Father died 60yrs heart, brother died 68yrs heart, sister died 66yrs heart. All were strong and healthy until they reached 60. All refused to consider giving up smoking (felt too healthy so in denial) - but all gave up 'when they had to' ie when they had their first heart attack. Then they stopped immediately.

    Believe me, your 'when I want to' time will never come but the 'when I have to' will. Don't wish that on yourself because it might be too late by then.

    Six months ago my darling sister needed a triple bypass operation because of her smoking. She had the operation, went into a coma, then was in a vegetative state for 3 months, Then she died.

    This is the reality of smoking. Take control, give your life a chance. Stick to the programme.

    My youngest brother, his wife and daughter, all smokers, are sticking to the programme because of what they saw happened to our lovely sister. Sad that it took her dying to show them the light.

    Take my advice and stop. No excuses. No putting off 'till I am ready' - that is 'putting off' talk - you never will be ready if you are saying that.

  • Hi happyfeet

    I'm really sorry that you and your family have suffered so because of the evil cigarette. But, I'm sorry - I will do this 'when I am ready' and when I start, I will do it slowly. Or it won't be done at all. This is what my copd nurse told me, 'when you are ready'. Her own mother has copd and neither her or her two doctor brothers could persuade their mother to give up. It took her 3 years, but she got there in the end.

    I also know people who have died early due to smoking related illnesses. On the other hand, several of my friends died prematurely in their forties; non-smokers. My mother was a smoker. She died of non-smoking-related bone cancer at the age of 50. My father, never smoked in his life, had a triple-by-pass at 84 - he's still with us, at 90 - but complains, daily, about being old and still alive. None of us will live forever, smoker or non-smoker. Quitting smoking will not cure this disease - though, of course, it will be extremely beneficial and allow for a longer life, God willing. The damage, though, is done. I did this to myself. I am not going to beat myself up about it, but live whatever life I have left as best I can.

    We are all different. I am neither lacking in intelligence or willpower. I gave up (voluntarily, with no help) a 14-year-addiction to benzodiazepines. The withdrawal was hideous and took five years. But I got there. I obtained 2 degrees (one BA and one BSc) when in my 50's, having left school at 15. I struggled, but was determined to prove to myself I could do it. The same applies to smoking. And I WILL do it - but it has to be as I have stated. I am not going to risk being in 'that place' of depression and anxiety again. Frankly, I would sooner be dead. So it will be as slowly as my body and mind can cope with. That is not an excuse - it's how it's going to be.

  • I am so sorry your Gp was so nasty and unsympathetic. May I ask if you are under a Specialist Consultant or Respiratory Specialist Practitioner Nurse? They would be very helpful to you here. Also the British Lung Foundation may also be able to advise. I have COPD and have been on 2 cruises so far since diagnosis. I have had a special lung test to see if I would require oxygen if I wanted to fly abroad. Unfortunately I do, my nurse has advised which airlines to opt for who supply oxygen without charge provided you get a prescription/referral from her or my Consultant. As to regard to insurance I have always had travel insurance with my bank along with EHIC card and as far as I understand my condition is covered as long as you take the required precautions eg prescription oxygen. Hope this has been of some help good luckand all the best. Try cruising its great!!

  • Hi amberbond

    No, I've never seen a specialist, but I do have a respiratory nurse, who I'll try to get an appointment with. She did tell me, at my spirometry test, that I could fly. That was before I got the cold and my O2 dipped! Before that though, I did check out the fit to fly tests and I timed myself on the walk they give you. My distance walked came out as normal. But it really would change if I had an infection.

    I had no problem getting covered for copd with insurance. Unfortunately, I had to claim, and the GP who wrote the letter to the insurance company is the same one who has told me I can't now go abroad until a year after packing up smoking. So I doubt I could get insurance now, because of what he's written on my notes.

    My youngest son and d-i-l love cruising - but I get bored so easily and I'm not sure I could stay still on a boat for longer than a day or too. I've seen some cruises on QVC (!) though and they do look idyllic.

  • No matter, until the year is up consider a cruise, honestly you will not get bored there is so much to do try (Royal Carribean) sails from Southampton. "Independence of the Seas" great ship. You can even have a go rock climbing. There is a golf simulator or minature golf. Dancing Ice skating different shows is endless, plus when not at sea you can explore, my favourite was the eastern mediteranean, Florence and Pisa etc. Have a look great deals at present. good luck

  • Aw, sounds good, amberbond! Not sure about the rock climbing though!

  • i dont know where you stand on that as ive never been abroad but your doctors attitude is disgusting and rude

  • To be honest, mandy - he left me speechless - I was really taken aback. I wish I could go back into the surgery now and speak my mind. He told me that I had done nothing to help my illness, when, in fact, I've done a great deal - exercising, diet, not inhaling as much, preparing for giving up, lots of reading etc etc. He told me he didn't like smokers in his office!! I doubt it was me who was smelling (clean clothes, hair washed), but my husband, who smokes roll-ups! But how abusive! I think, later, he realised he'd been too harsh. I need a blood test to check that another condition hasn't returned. He decided to reward me with a full health check, including cholesterol and thyroid (I've been asking for a thyroid check for years!) and he stuck one of those alcohol questionnaires on the back of the appointment! Ah, I hardly drink at all - so he's not going to be able to get at me on that one!

  • Well I think your doctor is bang out of order and if this was me would be bunging in a strong letter of complaint to the head honcho of your practise. I have never heard of anything so stupid as saying you can't go abroad with moderate COPD. He sounds like he hates smokers with a passion but that is no reason to take it out on you. Change your doctor and get the decision overturned is my advice. x

  • Well, coughalot, I guess he wouldn't be a very good doctor if he didn't harp on about the absolute need for me to give up smoking. But I thought the personal snipes were uncalled for and unkind. And, no, I don't get the can't go abroad thing either. <sigh>

  • I went to the South of France 4 months ago to stay with a friend. Got a flight for £70 return. I have very severe copd (not on oxygen) and do manage quite well apart from if I get a dreaded exhaberation. Ive been abroad a few times and never even thought to ask my doctors permission, never had problems. The only downside now is, when I was only on 2 inhalers I had no problems with travel insurance but I take 3 now plus pills so its a lot more expensive. I was naughty on trip to France & didn't take any out although I wouldn't recommend this to anyone. I don't think much to your doctor he should have a better bedside manner.

  • SusieQ, I'm so glad you're enjoying your trips - but it's a shame you can't get insurance. :( I wouldn't have asked my doctor, but I had to cancel the last trip because I did have an exacerbation, and that will make insurance for me more expensive - but I just don't see a reason why I couldn't at least plan to go. I feel like a naughty girl made to stand in the corner!

  • Frankie42, I'm horrified at your doctor's vindictive attitude. He has absolutely no right to dictate that you can't go abroad simply because you are a smoker.

    There are criteria for being allowed to fly - you have to be able to walk 50 metres - but none for other forms of travel, as far as I've seen.

    Do please take this matter further. This is outrageous and causing you unnecessary upset. Google does have its uses and it's well worth searching for further information.

    By the way, from smoking around 40 a day, I went onto e-cigs and have never smoked another cigarette since. :)

  • Hi qbjb

    I was really unlucky to get an infection just before we were due to fly to Greece (I had previously been very well). It was very disappointing. When he told me I couldn't fly, the doctor said (and it was true) that it was awful to tell somebody they couldn't go on the holiday they had planned for - and yet there I was still smoking 12-15 cigarettes a day. He suggested I give up. He stressed that I would have infection after infection for a year after giving up. He suggested that I stay in this country for holidays for a year. I took that to mean I wouldn't be able to fly - and that this was for a year after I gave up smoking. He was being very presumptive in that respect, and horrified when I told him I had not given up smoking. When I told him that we had booked a holiday to France next year, he was angry and said that he'd told me not to go abroad, 'and I've written that on your notes'. He then said he would not be able to write another insurance letter if he had advised me not to go out of the country (even if not flying).

    So this is the dilemma I face now. All the insurance companies ask if you have been advised not to travel. So I'm stuck! And this seems very unfair to me, as everybody with this condition risks coming down with an infection and that's why we pay extra for insurance. But he's denying me even that!

    I have an ecig in the drawer. I've tried ecigs before, but found the nicotine too strong (I smoke Marlboro Lights) So, this time I've bought one with zero nicotine and if I get the hang of smoking that, I'll think about buying a low nicotine cartridge and mixing it a bit. That's the plan!

  • Hi frankie

    I understand where you're at and you'll sort the smoking problem without interference from others (been there!) but I'm convinced you can overcome the doctor's unacceptable behaviour. He has absolutely no right to treat you this way.

    I would go to another doctor or health facility for a fit to travel check-up (usually it's a 'fit-to-fly') and get the truth about what your doctor is allowed to limit. I'm totally convinced he's gone beyond his remit into the realms of bullying and personally would take the matter to the Health Authority.

    Also, phone one or two insurance companies and explain the true situation with your health. You never know, one might well be prepared to take you on.

    I do agree with the others - change your doctor! Life's hard enough ...

    qbjb :)

  • Hi qbjb - thanks for your support and understanding.

    I am going to confront this doctor, when I next see him, about this matter. Calmly! But if he still insists in this unreasonable stance, then I think I will consider reporting him and certainly will make no more appointments with him.

  • Good - please please confront him and force him to remove his comments on your file. I can't bear this injustice ... :(

    Hope to hear from you soon with details of your next holiday abroad and/or how you get on when you report him! :)

    qbjb (no longer able to fly)

  • Just a thought....

    You say 'he suggested I stay in this country for holidays for a year. I took that to mean I wouldn't be able to fly - and that this was for a year after I gave up smoking'. So he didn't actually give you that time scale. That was what you thought he meant. I think he meant - for a year from now, that's all.

    When I apply for travel insurance, travelling by air land or sea, there is usually a question which asks ' have you been advised not to travel'. Now most questions around health really relate to 'within the past twelve months'.

    If you need to claim, the insurance company contact your doctor and ask to see your records. So because your doctor advised you not to travel abroad for a year, he will have recorded that advice on your records. If the holiday you have booked for next year falls within the 12 month period then you may have difficulty getting insurance. But once the 12 months are up and you haven't had any further problems you will be ok.

    Changing GP's may not work as that statement will be on your record.

    I would go back to the GP (or another in the practice) and ask for clarification of his statement as it may not be as bad as you are thinking. Take someone with you to add an ear. I get anxious sometimes and mistake what is being said but my OH can pick up what I miss and help me understand.

    I don't believe a doctor can tell you you can't travel abroad ever again. You 'only' have moderate copd - there is plenty time for you to travel this big wide world.

  • Hi happyfeet

    Yes, you are correct on what the insurance companies ask. And as my GP forbade me to fly in June, then I would have to declare that anyway. But he forbade to fly for good reason - I had an infection and my O2 was very low. Two days before, I had visited him with the same infection, when O2 levels were normal and he said I was fine to travel; no problem.

    I did not misunderstand him. He told me to pack up smoking and then wait a year before holidaying abroad. This was because he expects my condition to get worse for a year after giving up. But I am going to do all in my power to try to control my giving up, so as to minimise any downward spiral (as I have told you) This may or may not work - but, as of today, I am well and there is absolutely no reason why I could not travel by land, sea or air.

    I have done a lot of travelling the big wide world already - thank goodness. We do trips not just for ourselves, but for our son - because, when we are gone, he will not have to means, money-wise or confidence-wise, to do this for himself. But what I object to is being shackled for no apparent reason. However, as I have said in other posts, I am going to clarify things with him.

    My OT, btw, clarifies all that I have said.

  • Just in case it helps ;

    I was once told that as I wouldn't stop smoking the day would eventually come when smoking gave me up - it did and with a vengeance! But even then I found it hard and think I only got through it because of Jason Vale's stop smoking app - give it a try! And good luck with the holiday - it's taken me three years to be able to get a new passport and I still haven't summoned the courage to fly yet! I'm not on oxygen but KNOW that flying causes me breathing problems which is a real nuisance...

  • I'll take a look at the Jason Vale stop smoking app - thanks, Struggle. I did read the Alan Carr book some years ago - and that, unfortunately, didn't help.

  • I tried and failed with Carr too but found the Vale relaxation type input immensely helpful - good luck and you'll get there when you're ready to be :-)

  • I've got a Kindle Fire and they didn't have that app on there - grrh. But I've managed to download it to my phone. Yep, when I'm ready ..... I Thanks, Struggle.

  • Change doctors.

  • Hi Frankie im 61 yrs old and have COPD i used to smoke between 40/50 cigs a day and am down to 5/10 a day now,As for going on holiday we go abroad every year and this year we went to Cyprus in may and we have just got back from a holiday in Austria, i have never had any issues with my dr about me going abroad and if i was you i would change your dr..

  • Hi Rosiee, thanks for your support - and many congrats on cutting the cigs down so much! Have you found it beneficial to your symptoms?

    I was telling my brother, who lives in Wales, about my doctor yesterday and he asked if I was coming up for the family wedding in February. Of course, I said. So what's the difference between that and going to France? None! I really don't get the GP's 'advice'. If I were to take a holiday in this country, I would still, perhaps, take out cancellation insurance if the trip was going to be expensive - so what's the difference? I think I will confront him on this. But not today!

  • Yes feel a 100% for cutting down as much as i have so fingers crossed for you. x

  • I couldn't advise you. As for me, I sort of banned myself because I can be impaired by pollution, for instance. I got very bad just going to London! I have to walk slow. My walk distance has improved, but I don't think I could go and visit a town and different monuments and go to events, especially in little bars in Portugal where they may smoke. I love fado, but the smoke doesn't like me at all!

    so I banned myself from going abroad. And somebody stole my passport. I need to have a whip round to pay for the £77 and the photos in the photo both!

  • Hi helingmic

    I understand the reasons for your self-banning - we each know our limitations. When in France, next year, I would love to go to the Alps, but sense tells me that it wouldn't be sensible because of the altitude. And, yes, Portugal! We were there a few years ago and it was a shock to the system to see people smoking in the airport and even in the supermarkets! I think they have since brought in restrictions, similar to the UK though.

  • I saw an appraisal on You Tube. The chap said that the cons in Portugal is that you have people selling pot on every corner in every city! The pro is that people are really fantastically friendly.

    I love fado and Amalhia Rodrigues. I fall on my knees when I listen to her, I vibrate in sympathy!

  • That Doctor has some attitude sounds a bit like my old Doctor he said I had COPD gave me a blue inhaler and told me to stop smoking, no information on COPD nothing.

    I smoked 20 plus a day worked 16 years solid nights so I was smoking day and night and never thought I could give up scared the life out of me never having a cig. I went to a quit clinic my daughter dragged me you can still see the skid marks on the pavement and even then I didn't want to give up. I was given total control at all times and given the option I went for champix you take the tablets at night and between 8 and 14 days you feel you don't wont to smoke by 8 days I didn't enjoy smoking but carried on the 13th day I got out of bed felt ill went back to bed and never had another cig since that was 10 years ago I still have a few in a packet I did not finish I keep them why I don't know.

    I put on weight and after 6 months of being smoke free I started swimming I have met some really nice people.

    I can't say anything about your holiday but I did many long hauls and I did go to Kenya about 4 years ago and got insurance with Tesco.

  • Hi onamission. I'm really glad the champix worked for you and it sounds as though packing up has been brilliant for you. But champix is not something I would consider, because of my history of anxiety and depression.

  • Hi Frankie i tried the champix and like you they didnt agree with me, as for going up the alps i did it in Austria went up on a ski lift and did have a slight problem at the top but my inhalers helped also my friend who was with us had a problem with the altitude too and she doesnt have COPD and it was fantastic so glad i did it, i no its not as high as the swiss alps but 13500 ft up is high to me lol good luck hun x

  • I was a 40 a day smoker and gave up in 1992. I know it is not easy but even though you have COPD it does not mean that you can not improve your health and prolong it. I know some GP's seem to be their own supreme being and what they say is the Law (in their world) but you have the right to choose another! The fact that you doctor has put that on your notes is so wrong in many ways. I have been told I cannot fly without a fly certificate. So we are planning a High speed train trip to Barcelona. France has a good system and I do not think they have any problems with treating us brits with the euro card.

    I agree with PEEG it is your right to choose but as a ex and anti smoker I would look at giving them up £9.00 a packet converted to holiday money should be a good incentive?

    Be Well

  • Your doctor should never have behaved this way with you. You should complain!

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